Again, I selected this option to explore because I hadn’t spent much time with it. I do use Google Books (I even have the app on my iPad), but as I find iBooks and Kindle to be better and easier to use, I have not paid much attention to it. However, when I look at the tool from an educational perspective, its usefulness becomes more apparent.
Sticking with the freshman English theme once more, I decided to quickly make a list of books to read, most of which are completely free to read: http://goo.gl/ed7TV
. You can read these on your computer, on an iPad, or even an iPhone/iPod Touch/Android device (including Android tablets). If you’re a teacher who’s lucky enough to work in a school or district that either provides or requires the students to purchase iPads or similar devices, you never need to purchase, distribute, or collect books again! You can just create your reading list for the year and let the students download on command.
One pitfall I found that you need to watch out for is being very discriminating in selecting which book to add to your bookshelf. When you search for a book, you often get a ton of results, some of which are free, some require purchasing; some are the book itself, some are commentaries/guides for the book. Some (most?) of the books are actually scanned in and can sometimes include someone’s handwritten notes in the margins. Because of these issues, you just need to make sure that you’ve selected the right book before adding it to your bookshelf that you’re sharing with your class.